Writer encourages all to “express your individuality”

TEMP ORARY February 12, 2012 0

Remember the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show? The one with the girls in underwear and angel wings? Of course you do, because even if you didn’t actually watch it on TV (I was forced to, I swear), you read about it on Facebook for the next three hours — stuff along the lines of “never eating again,” “going to the gym forever,” “wow, Maroon 5 is awesome.” All of those statuses are lies, but people still went out of their way to watch something they must have known would make them feel bad about themselves. Why do that?

Is it because you actually wanted to — maybe you like seething over the fact you’re not 6 feet 2 inches, 115 pounds and poking fun at celebrities because of your insecurities — or because everyone else was going to, so you felt as if you had to? I’m willing to bet on the second option. An observation made by senior Allyson Wells, one I happen to agree with, is that people seem to be afraid to be different. At Elizabethtown College, it’s a bit difficult to go unnoticed if you take the number of students into consideration, so if you’re the kid wearing a purple jumpsuit to class, you’ll stick out. Everyone will see you, notice something’s off and eventually you may think that there’s something wrong with it, too. Therein lies the problem — there is an issue with both self-esteem and body image on college campuses.

Most of us would like to believe we as a community live with “you can’t judge a book by its cover” in mind, but honesty forces us to concede that it’s furthest from truth. Junior Sean Post pointed out that you can’t “wear your personality on your chest;” every interaction begins from a physical standpoint. So, taking that into account, people will wear whatever is deemed the coolest fashion in order to give them the best chance at looking as presentable, desirable, as possible. Good plan, right?

Yoga pants are not for everyone. In fact, unless you’re going to a yoga class, or at the very least to a place where some type of exercise will be undertaken, don’t wear them. There’s no point. I think the most important thing a college student, in this case female, can do is dress to fit their body accordingly. Uggs, leggings and a jacket is not an outfit — get creative! Recognize yourself for what body type you are and dress accordingly. Don’t be a clone. Give yourself your own personality, express your individuality and love the way you look. Have fun! That’s half the point of college.

But the problem isn’t exclusive to girls. Guys struggle with appearance too, especially on a campus like Etown where there are 15 girls around every corner. We all can’t be cookie-cutter Supermen. I know for a fact I will never be a big guy — I’m destined to be a 5 feet 8 inches, 155 pound guy who looks like he’s 16 for the next few years, at least. It’s my cross to bear, and I hope people can look past that. If they can’t, it’s their loss. See what I just did there?

Not every guy is going to be able to bench press a car, and not every girl is able to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. The best part of that is that they shouldn’t want to be. Someone who I respect greatly, junior and Etownian sports editor Lexi Morris, said it’s a matter of being at peace with yourself: acknowledging who you are and want to be and accepting it. One should never find themselves being jealous of another, especially over looks. There’s no point. You’re not them, and you could never be them, and they can’t be you. It’s so painfully simple it makes me sound stupid: you are you, and no one else can ever be that. That means you’re special.

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